As the weather gets warmer, I remind the Ravens football players how important it is to stay hydrated when they exercise. Hydration affects our coordination, balance and ability to exercise or play for a long time. For the football players, they need to hydrate before, during and after their workouts. Some of the Ravens players weigh over 300 pounds and can lose over five pounds after they exercise. This is not healthy and can affect how much weight they are able to lift, how fast they can run during practice and how they concentrate when they study their new playbooks.

It is important to remember to drink water during the school day. You also need to hydrate before exercise or playing so you won’t get dehydrated or injured. Many kids forget to drink fluids during school because they are not able to carry bottles of water in school. If you are able to drink a glass of water with your lunch or snack, this could be the first step in making sure that you stay hydrated.

Sometimes the Ravens will tell me that they get tired of drinking water. We have a variety of food and drink options to help them hydrate if they are tired of water. We offer them jello, popsicles, frozen fruit bars, watermelon and oranges everyday. All these foods contain large amounts of water, which helps them stay hydrated. If you are not able to drink a lot of water during the day, eat some watermelon at breakfast, an orange at lunch and have a popsicle or frozen fruit bar for a snack in the afternoon. Milk, juice and sports drinks will also help you hydrate, but they may add extra calories if you drink these fluids more than you drink water. These other hydrators may keep you hydrated if you can not drink enough fluid during the day.